By Ito Ogawa
Returning home from work, Rinko is shocked to find her flat is totally empty. Gone are her TV set, fridge, and above all, her boyfriend. She has no choice but to go back to her native village and her mother, on which she turned her back 10 years ago. There she decides to open a very special restaurant.
Book Review from The Independent
Ito Agawa’s foodie fable centres on Rinko, a chef who returns to her city apartment one evening only to discover that her boyfriend has taken off with her life savings and – what is worse – her Le Creuset casserole set.
Distraught, she returns home to her mother’s village in the countryside, and sets up an organic restaurant catering to the locals. Her delicious cooking gains a reputation for healing powers, and fosters love and friendship in the community.
Agawa’s descriptions of Rinko’s recipes can be mouth-watering, particularly if you’re a fan of Japanese food (“sangetan soup with whole chicken brewed in shochu”; “sautéed radish with shiitake mushrooms”). But the story itself will probably be a little too saccharine for most tastes.